Why Carbohydrates Matter

Carbohydrates Matter

In September 2002, the National Academies Institute of Medicine recommended that people focus on getting more good carbs with fiber into their diet. The following statements are based on information given in the report:

To meet the body’s daily nutritional needs while minimizing risk for chronic disease, adults should get 45% to 65% of their calories from carbohydrates, 20% to 35% from fat, and 10% to 35% from protein.

There is only one way to get fiber — eat plant foods. Plants such as fruits and vegetables are quality carbohydrates that are loaded with fiber. Studies show an increased risk for heart disease with low-fiber diets. There is also some evidence to suggest that fiber in the diet may also help to prevent colon cancer and promote weight control.

The recommendations:  

  • Men aged 50 or younger should get 38 grams of fiber a day.
  • Women aged 50 or younger should get 25 grams of fiber a day.
  • Because we need fewer calories and food as we get older, men over aged 50 should get 30 grams of fiber a day.
  • Women over aged 50 should get 21 grams of fiber a day.

What Are The Good Carbs?

Most of us know what the good carbs are: plant foods that deliver fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals along with grams of carbohydrate, such as whole grains, beans, vegetables, and fruits. You can’t judge a carb as “good” without considering its fiber content.

Why Fiber in Carbohydrates Counts

Fiber is the part in plant foods that humans can’t digest. Even though fiber isn’t absorbed, it does all sorts of great stuff for our bodies.

This information was from this article http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/carbohydrates

 So as far as numbers on where you should be, I suppose this is a good start.  Lets consider you are an extremely healthy and fit, these numbers could change.  Perhaps your body needs more or less on a given day, depending what your doing. 

We have to consider other life factors when we fuel our bodies.  We are not only fueling the body, we are nurturing our soul, we are feeding our brains.  There comes a time when we need to stop and listen to our inner dialogs and programming.  

My suggestion as it always is, is to start paying attention to what’s going on inside that body of yours.  Start listening to the mental chatter in the head. Listen to what your gut is saying.  For most of us we turn a deaf ear and do what we have been conditioned to do and that is react to our emotional state, our fears, our stubborn state, our excuse creator.  This isn’t bad nor is it good it is just a choice we make to survive.  It’s time to flip that switch and choose to live and not survive.  If we take the time we will understand that within us we hold all the answers, Our bodies are amazing, with tremendous healing powers, yet we choose to ignore them.

As far as Good vs. Bad Carbs go, you know what feels better in your body, you know what your thoughts are about them, and I assure you that plays a role on how you digest them and expend them. So my advice is if you want something you feel is “bad” ask yourself why is it bad?  What am I going to get from eating this?  Take it to a whole new level if you like, or just eat it, enjoy it and be happy about your choice.  Find yourself on a sabotaging downward spiral, then seek help, rally the troops do what you need to do to get refocused because I assure you, you’re not alone.  Now a list of some of those healthy fiber truly natural plant based foods. 


In moderation, carbohydrates play a key role in maintaining a balanced diet, since they provide your body with energy. If you’re going to be conscious about your carb intake each day in order to lose weight it’s important to know which fruits and vegetables are low in carbohydrates. We also include carb contents of common vegetables for your reference.

Low Carb Vegetables

1. General rule to tell carb content in vegetables

Vegetables are divided into 4 groups depending on what part of the plant they have come from. Reference the chart below to understand those 4 groups.

LeavesLeafy vegetables have the least amount of carbohydrates in them. They also contain so much fiber that there is little impact on blood sugar levels. Lettuce, herbs, Swiss chard and spinach fall under this category and are rich in vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients.
Stems and FlowersThese also have a low carb count, but a bit higher than what is found in leaves. Stem and flower vegetables include broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms and asparagus.
FruitsThe “fruit” of a plant is the part that contains seeds. Fruits possess a moderate level of complex carbohydrates. Squashes, peppers, eggplant, green beans, okra and tomatoes fall into this category. Avocados are also considered a “fruit” in this case, but they contain considerably less carbohydrates than the other vegetables listed here.
RootsRoots have the highest level of carbs out of these four groups. Parsnips, sweet potatoes, yams and white potatoes all fall into this category and contain high amounts of carbohydrates and starches. Celery root, jicama, carrots and radishes are a part of the “root” category as well, but they contain fewer amounts of carbohydrates than the others listed here.

2. Recommended low carb vegetables

SpinachThis leafy green is loaded with beta carotene, foliates, vitamin K and iron. It works great for a diabetic diet. For the best nutrition buy it fresh or frozen and skip the canned products. Spinach is great as a salad base or in omelets.
TomatoTomatoes are low-carb and low-calorie — just 32 calories per cup. Vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium and fiber are packed into tomatoes. Tomatoes also have lycopene which is a powerful antioxidant believed to help protect against prostate cancer and heart disease. Eat tomatoes raw or cooked with meats and sauces.
BroccoliBroccoli is low carb and loaded with vitamins A, C and D as well as calcium fiber and iron. Look for broccoli that has a dark green color to it. Broccoli doesn’t keep well, so eat it soon after you have bought it.
CucumberA one cup portion of cucumber has less than 5 grams of carbohydrates. The vitamin K, potassium and vitamin C make cucumbers a healthy snack or salad option. Enjoy on sandwiches or by themselves as snacks.
CabbageThis low-carb veggie is rich in antioxidants, vitamin K and C, fiber, manganese, vitamin B6. When picking out a head of cabbage, choose one that is firm and has shiny leaves. Refrigerate these to keep them fresh.
Brussels sproutsIn addition to being very low in carbohydrates, brussel sprouts are high in vitamins A and C, folic acid and fiber. It is even believed that the nutrients found in brussel sprouts can help ward off certain cancers.
CauliflowerWhile not on the most popular veggie lists, cauliflower should not be overlooked as it is full of vitamin C. A single serving is over half your daily requirement for vitamin C. These can be enjoyed raw or cooked. Steaming and roasting are the best cooking methods
AsparagusWith only 27 calories and just 5 grams of carbohydrates per cup, asparagus is a great low-carb choice. These stalks are filled with vitamins A and K. Look for bunches with bright green stalks and compact heads. Break the whitish ends off before preparing and eating asparagus.

3. More low carb vegetables

The following is a list of vegetables not mentioned in the previous two tables:

  • Sprouts
  • Greens: kale, mustard greens, collard greens
  • Herbs: parsley, cilantro, basil, rosemary, thyme, sage
  • Bok Choy
  • Bamboo shoots
  • Celery
  • Leeks
  • Sea vegetables
  • Wax Bean
  • Fennel
  • Zucchini
  • Spaghetti squash
  • Green onions
  • Snow peas
  • Tomatillos
  • Artichokes
  • Pumpkin
  • Rutabaga
  • Radishes
  • Peppers

High Carb Vegetables

You should avoid those starchy vegetables if you are on a weight-loss regime.

  • Beets
  • Peas
  • Some winter squashes
  • Parsnips
  • Potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Corn
  • Plantains
  • Water chestnuts
  • corn

Carbohydrate Chart for Common Vegetables

Vegetables (100g/ 3.5 oz)CaloriesCarbohydrates (g)
Alfalfa sprouts, raw240.4
Artichoke, boiled4110.6
Asparagus, boiled224
Bean Sprouts, raw314
Broccoli, raw331.8
Brussel Sprouts, boiled353.1
Carrots, raw and young306
Cauliflower, boiled282.3
Celery, raw70.9
Corn Kernels, raw9317
Corn-on-cob, boiled, plain6611.6
Cucumber, raw , unpeeled101.5
Eggplant, raw152.2
Garlic, fresh & raw9816
Kale, raw & curly351.4
Lettuce, romaine & raw161.7
Mushrooms, raw223.4
Potatoes, boiled7518
Okra, raw313
Onions, raw647.9
Peas, fresh & raw8311.3
Red radish, raw122
Spinach, raw251.6
Squash, butternut, baked327.4
Sweet potato, baked11528
Tomatoes, cherry & raw183
Tomatoes, raw173
Watercress, raw220.4
Yam, baked15337.5
Zucchini, raw181.8